Strange Times at How Hill
March 31, 2020
As you have probably guessed, things are pretty quiet around How Hill at the moment. Well, in human terms anyway. Reassuringly Nature doesn’t give two hoots about the coronavirus and springtime is well underway in every corner of the estate. Bitterns are booming, daffodils are blooming and Brimstone butterflies are on the wing. Well that’s what I imagine it is like. I haven’t actually been there in person for a couple of weeks now.
And unfortunately that’s the only way to visit How Hill for the forseeable future… in your imagination. In light of the ban on all but essential travel the house car park and the public car park are closed, as is the toilet block.
If you have questions about school visits then Education Manager Lizzy is the person you want. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have booked tickets for future events we will contact you as and when it becomes necessary to cancel them. Please email email@example.com with any enquiries about events, or anything else for that matter.
So until all this blows over just sit tight, stay well and watch wildlife from your window. I can see two collared doves, a pigeon and a blue tit. No bitterns though!
Win Great Prizes – Enter Our Photography Competition
February 3, 2020
To celebrate How Hill’s year-round beauty the How Hill Trust is running a photography competition. And it’s open to everybody. Whether you’re a keen amateur, a professional photographer or you just enjoy snapping with your mobile, this competition is for you.
We are looking for photos which reflect the many aspects of How Hill in every season: the landscape, the wildlife, the holiday makers, the house, gardens, events and more.
There will be four competitions throughout the year in spring, summer, autumn and winter. The closing dates, details of how to enter and full terms and conditions can be read and downloaded here.
If your photograph wins you can choose your prize from:
A two hour boat trip for up to ten people.
Four tickets to a How Hill Family Fun Day.
Tea and cake for four at the How Hill Tearoom.
And even if you don’t win you’ll get to bask in the glory of seeing your photo shared with the world on our website and Facebook pages!
So get trawling through your photo archives, or dig your camera out and head for How Hill…
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any enquiries.
Please note that photographs may not be taken of visiting school groups. Thank you.
2020 Events Brochure Out Now!
January 13, 2020
There are so many fantastic public events happening at How Hill this year. Download a printable version of our events brochure or visit our events pages to find out more, check availability and view pictures. If you would like us to send you a paper copy give us a ring on 01692 678555.
We are really excited about the range of events we have on offer this year. Along with old favourites such as pudding evenings and family fun days we have introduced creative writing, printing and willow-craft workshops. You can join us for a luxury wherry day cruise or come and stay in the house and explore Broadland heritage by river.
All money raised from events and courses supports the work of the How Hill Trust; teaching school children about nature and the Norfolk Broads; and looking after the house and grounds for everybody to enjoy.
Beware! Some events sell out extremely quickly so book early to avoid disappointment.
Summer tea room fuels study centre work all year round (Official press release)
November 11, 2019
A summer tea room is helping to feed the funds of the How Hill Broads environmental study centre.
This year the popular watering hole generated almost £29,000 for the charity Trust which runs the centre at Ludham.
The tea room has been running for seven years, but this year had major investment in a coffee machine and coolers to expand the range of drinks and food on offer.
How Hill director Simon Partridge said: “The tea room provides vital income to support our core work of educating children in the natural wonders of the Broads.
“It is also terrific ‘PR’ bringing people in to explore our walks and water gardens combined with a cuppa and home-made cake.”
Some people headed to How Hill especially for the cakes, he added. And they were also snapped up as takeaways by boaters using the nearby moorings.
The tea room also went “greener” with increased composting and reduced plastic and general waste. It also added vegan and dairy free cakes, plus soya milk to reflect changing dietary trends.
This summer from May to September the How Hill tea room sold:
• 2037 hot drinks
• 2476 slices of cake
• 1244 scones
• 1259 sandwiches
The top selling coffees were Americano, Cappuccino and Latte, and the most popular cakes were carrot, Victoria sponge, coffee and walnut and cheese scones.
The How Hill tea room will reopen next May.Read More
Short back and sides for How Hill House
September 10, 2019
It’s not just school children who will be starting the new school year with a smart hair cut. Over the summer How Hill’s roof has received a makeover thanks to expert roof stylist Mick Aldred and his colleagues.
The thatch had become rather shaggy and unruly in recent years, due to the actions of birds, squirrels and the wild Norfolk weather. But Mick and his team combed and trimmed the sides back into shape and replaced the sedge ridge for a fashionable new look.
As you can imagine, a restyle on this scale doesn’t come cheap. Luckily, How Hill received a generous grant from Norwich Freemen’s Charity which made the project possible.
Slightly more informative details can be found here.Read More
More chances to enjoy home cooked delights
July 27, 2019
Now that the school summer holidays are here our tearoom will be open every day. And if you’ve visited before you might notice a few changes. As usual, all our cakes, scones and sandwiches are freshly made in the How Hill kitchen but we have expanded our range to include more vegan, gluten and dairy free options.
We have also invested in a super-clever bean-to-cup coffee machine. It’s like having our very own robot barista and it makes absolutely delicious fair trade coffee. Not bad for a seasonal tearoom in the wilds of Norfolk!
In an effort to reduce waste and single-use plastic, this year we will be composting our sandwich packaging, serviettes and coffee cups which are now vegetable based and apparently fully compostable. Only time, and possibly Chris the Gardener, will tell. We keep paper straws and stock as many drinks in glass bottles as possible, which are recycled along with anything else we possibly can. We are also more than happy to refill your reusable coffee cup or water bottle… so remember to pop that into your bag when you visit.
The How Hill Tearoom is open every day from July 27th to 8th September from 11am to 4pm.
Please telephone 01692 678555 with any enquiries.
We made a film! Watch it here.
June 13, 2019
Well actually, the community engagement team from the Water, Mills and Marshes (WM&M) project offered to make a film for us and we were only too pleased to take them up on their offer.
WM&M’s Terry and his drone spent two days in May filming 7 and 8 year olds from Acle St Edmund C of E Primary School as they enjoyed an absolutely cracking visit to How Hill.
The unique aerial footage combined with hearing the children talk about their experiences convey how special How Hill is much more effectively than any written words ever could… so watch the film here.Read More
New wooden boat at education centre harks back to Broads history (Official press release)
June 3rd, 2019
A piece of floating history has been recreated to help youngsters explore a Norfolk Broads environmental haven.
School pupils are sailing down the river at How Hill in a wooden “reed lighter” boat, like the ones that used to transport roofing materials along the river.
And the classic boat has been specially built in East Anglia at a college keeping the time-honoured skills alive.
The reed lighter will be used to transport hundreds of youngsters each year during day and residential courses to study the landscape and wildlife of the Broads.
It is named the Alderman Norman II after the charitable educational trust in memory of an 18th century mayor of Norwich which paid for it.
And it was built by the International Boatbuilding Training College at Oulton Broad near Lowestoft, using the skills of recent graduate Alex Hunter, 35, from Norwich, who now works at the college’s commercial boatbuilding arm, which supports its training work.
How Hill director Simon Partridge said: “The boat is magnificent – and we are thrilled it was made at a centre which is keeping alive wooden boatbuilding skills.
“Our visitors will ride in it to explore Barton Broad and the marshes – including seeing crops of reeds which boats like this helped harvest. But we could not have done it without the generosity of the Alderman Norman Foundation which also paid for another boat in 1988.”
The foundation’s chairman the Rev Jonathan Boston smashed a bottle of bubbly over the bows at an official launch at the Swallowtail boatyard in Ludham which maintains the How Hill fleet.
The 23ft boat took seven months to build, from an oak and hardwood frame clad in larch planks. It is painted in Donegal Green, with black tar varnish below the waterline.Read More
Best View In Broads Gets Even Better
May 13th, 2019
It has often been claimed that the view from How Hill is the best in the Norfolk Broads.The house sits at the summit of a mighty hill (rising some 16m above sea level) with views out over the river Ant, marshes, woods, meadows and windmills.
But an even loftier viewpoint is afforded from the scaffolding which currently wraps around the north side of the house. Thatcher Mick Aldred last replaced the sedge ridge on the thatched roof twenty years ago, and now he’s back to do it again. He says this is the highest roof he has ever worked on, and on a fine day “it’s like heaven up there.” With binoculars it is even possible to see the spire of Norwich Cathedral, nearly eleven miles away.
Mick’s dad and brother are also thatchers. Once when they were cutting reed on the marsh beyond Turf Fen Mill their reed cutting machine fell into a hole. They later heard that the hole is one of several craters made by bombs dropped during the second world war.
The locally grown sedge, secured with a lattice of brotches (short lengths of split hazel wood) is only expected to last around twenty years, whereas the reed which makes up the majority of the roof lasts much longer – in this case sixty years and counting. By the time the work is finished in July the scaffolding will have been erected in three different positions and over nine hundred bunches of sedge will have been used.Read More